It’s that time of year when people start doing all their planning for the new year. Goals and resolutions abound. It seems like everyone has some type of financial goal, health goal and fun goals like travel on their lists. I know I have all of the above. We can’t get away as much as we’d like, but travel is always a big part of our yearly planning since it requires so much preparation.
In 2016 I hope to do a bit of traveling. Nothing crazy, just a few trips:
- January – Vegas for CES, Type A and Affiliate Summit
- June – DC for Blogging Conference
- Summer – Family Cruise
- Fall – Couples Trip and NYC
On our family calendar we also have some dates held for tentative travel depending on whether I’ll be speaking/sponsored. We decided that since 2015 was a transitional year with the new home purchase, and the change in income (for now :)) that we’d keep 2016 the least ‘spendy’ we could…without sacrificing too much.
So many people put off traveling due to financial reasons. I rather not put my travel on cards that I can’t immediately pay off, so we save up for it. In order to make travel happen, we’ve created some financial resolutions (goals and to-dos really) to ensure we get there:
Fully monetize all areas of my business
This is a common sense one, and one that’s long overdue. Now that I’m home and able to do a bit more, monetizing my business in a more intentional way is going to be key to making travel goals happen. This year I made more than last year, but not as much as I planned to. Better monetization of my biz means more income coming our way. More income means more money to save for travel (and other expenses.)
All surplus money to travel savings account
I’m a saver by nature. I told you before I have miser in my blood. But we don’t just have one savings account. We have our personal savings, the house/joint savings, and specific buckets like our travel savings account. We allocate a certain percent of the monthly savings to travel normally. This year for the first time, we’re putting all unexpected income and unplanned cash flow to the travel savings account to help pad it up for our getaways. If you don’t have a separate savings account check out the 360 Savings accounts from Capital One. No fees, no minimums and you get interest.
Use our rewards cards as much as possible
Cards like the Capital One Venture Card, other miles cards, gas cards, cash back cards, points…. I’m obsessed. We…ok, I… strategize on what card we use at which retailers to ensure we’re getting the most bang for our buck. Luckily, John plays along with me when he sees the benefits of my card games. With a little pre-planning you can really make out like a bandit with avoiding fees, and earning money toward travel, gas and other purchases you’d normally come out of pocket for anyway.
Conversations before big buys
John and I really have to act as a team now more than ever. With the house and all the new monthly bills that come with it, and using his income to fund it, we have to talk about all big purchases together. I know this is a common practice among other couples, but we rarely did this before. We’d just shop and come home like “look what I got!” and ooh and ahh over it together. Not anymore. We talk about the big ticket items we need, and we both hunt around to find the best deal on it before buying.
Use all the apps, and rebate tools for regular purchases
I told you (HERE) about how to save money online purchasing just about anything. I’m really big into all the cash back apps there are out there now. You can buy your normal items, and scan receipts when you get home to earn money, and get rebates or gift cards. I’m such a junkie for these apps that as soon as I load up the trunk I sit in the car and scan my receipts immediately so I don’t forget to collect my moolah. More cash back = more money to put into that travel savings account!
It’s my hope that I’m able to do more travel than what’s listed at the top of this post. I’d love for John and I to head to Vegas in the fall/winter, and I’d like to do lots of weekend trips around Florida as well, both as a couple and as a family. Financial planning is really the key to ensuring we get to live the kickass life we envision.
What are your Financial Resolutions for 2016?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.